Gender & Social Equity

It is a fact that a person is more likely to be economically poor if she is a woman and/or an indigenous person/member of minority ethnic group, practices a minority religion, comes from an isolated geographical area, was born into a low social status (caste, bonded labour, etc), is young or very old, or lives with impaired health. Being economically poor tends to be strongly correlated with being socially disadvantaged – that is, experiencing social discrimination and powerlessness. At HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, we not only strive to promote broadly beneficial development, but we also seek to work specifically with the most disadvantaged individuals and groups living in our partner countries. It is for this reason that gender equality and social equity is a cross-cutting theme in our organisation.

In promoting gender equality and social equity in our field programmes, we are also attentive to the example set by our partner organisations and by ourselves. We thus seek to partner with organisations that share our broad organisational values, and to build their capacities with regard to gender and social equity if appropriate. Internally, we strive towards a gender balanced, strongly socially aware workforce, and are committed to having a minimum 30% women or men in our Management Committee and Board of Directors.

Blog posts from Jane Carter

05. May 2017

Nepal’s trail bridge programme: engaging women and men alike?

Through a research grant from ReCAP (Research for Community Access Partnership), a team of Helvetas staff led by Deputy Country Programme Director Mona Sherpa recently investigated the extent to which the Nepal government’s trail bridge programme contributes to transforming gender relations. This is a lot more interesting and significant than the casual reader might first...
12. April 2017

“Just because I help my wife does not mean that I am less of a man”

As part of my handing-over to my successor, Agnieszka Kroskowska, the two of us were in Ethiopia last week for a gender and social equity regional workshop, attended by staff from Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania as well as Ethiopia. Also with us were three staff from two of our partner organisations under Alliance 2015: the...
21. February 2017

Building back better in Nepal: prioritising disadvantaged individuals for training

The road to Dolakha district from Kathmandu is a familiar one to me, but one that I have not travelled since the earthquake wrought its destruction nearly two years ago. Bumping along it, the glint of metal in sunlight catches the eye. In place of mud-washed or lime-washed houses, corrugated iron seems omnipresent – not...


  • Jane Carter

    Gender & Social Equity Coordinator